Court indicates Halkidiki mines are legal
Ruling casts doubt on Energy Ministry’s decision to suspend technical study
The Council of State has ruled in favor of Hellas Gold, the company managing the mines in Halkidiki, northern Greece, that are the subject of a dispute with the government, it emerged yesterday.
The government suspended a technical study for the mines’ processing plant, which led to the company halting work at the Skouries and Olympiada sites and suspend- ing dozens of miners.
The decision from Greece’s highest administrative court, which is the result of action taken earlier by Hellas Gold – a subsidiary of Canadian mining giant Eldorado – suggests that the firm has abided by regulations in the conduct of its technical studies and that the Energy Ministry did not have a valid reason for blocking the project.
Eldorado’s country manager for Greece, Eduardo Moura, said yesterday that the court ruled in favor of Eldorado after the company filed a lawsuit in April against Greek authorities on issues including a flashmelting technical study.
“The ruling in favor of [Eldorado subsidiary] Hellas Gold is the result of a lawsuit we filed months ago,” Moura told Reuters.
“It doesn’t allow us to start activities in Halkidiki but it undermines the argument that the ministry used to revoke our permits,” he added.
Hellas Gold issued a statement saying that the Council of State decision “proves beyond doubt” that the company is operating within the law and fulfilling all its obligations.